Polygamy Bill Dead Pending Utah Legal Case

Feb 3, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah lawmaker is abandoning an effort to change the state's polygamy laws to comply with a federal judge's ruling striking down key parts of the laws. 

Rep. Jerry Anderson introduced a bill this year that removes part of the bigamy law banning cohabitation with another person.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in December that was a violation of the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of religion.

Anderson, a Republican from Price, says his bill is dead because of the Utah attorney general's office may appeal the judge's ruling and lawmakers don't want to interfere with that.

The cohabitation clause made Utah's polygamy law much stricter than in 49 other states. Bigamy, the holding of marriage licenses with multiple partners, is still illegal under the ruling.